“Where do I live?”

map via Wikipedia by Peter Fitzgerald

“Dear PoPville,

I recently took the time to look at a DC neighborhood map, and now I don’t know where I live. I’m at Gallatin NW and N. Capital. It turns out this isn’t Petworth. It also isn’t Brightwood Park or Fort Totten. So where do I live? In some sort of No Man’s Land?”

How about Fort Totten?

69 Comment

  • palisades

    Glad that my namesake isn’t misleading.
    It’s crazy that there’s this huge part of DC that’s basically ignored (EOTR). It will be quite fascinating watching it slowly become gentrified in the next decade.

    • The idea that gentrification easily crosses big physical barriers like rivers seems mistaken. I hope the economy lifts the residents there in the next 10 years but I wouldn’t bet much more than nickels on a gentrification wave that even remotely resembles what’s happened in some other parts of DC.

    • People should check out EOTR sometime; I think maybe ‘ignored’ is not the only word to use here – maybe ‘unfamiliar’ would be apply too. There are large sections of Southeast that are in no need of gentrification, and filled with people who have happily lived there for years and years. There are lovely houses with large yards on tree-lined streets, and some really amazing panoramic views of the rest of the city, from the Capitol to the Cathedral. There’s even easy access to Capitol Hill and downtown.

      • Yeah, there are a lot of nice neighborhoods that don’t have high crime compared to gentrifying areas in NW and have very solid, middle class populations. Unfortunately many of these communities have been neglected by retailers for many years, likely for the same reason that many DC residents who haven’t visited them think they are in need of gentrification.

        • HaileUnlikely

          Agreed completely. Takoma and Lamond-Riggs both come to mind in that regard.

        • That’s the biggest problem with EOTR right now– you usually have to leave the neighborhood to shop or dine out. Not any different than a suburban lifestyle where you have to drive 15-20 minutes to get somewhere, but the trend these days is to live in a place where everything’s in walking distance.
          The good thing is that most EOTR neighborhoods have walkable streetscapes that could easily support retail and restaurants. I think the Anacostia Busboys will be a catalyst for getting more things to come.

      • +1000– my husband and I bought in Hillcrest in 2000–LOVE our center hall brick colonial and spacious screened porch.

      • Thank you for this. Some of the most magnificent views of the city are east of the river and I pray the people who live there now stay right where they are..

  • I feel the same way. I live on Georgia between Harvard and Columbia. It isn’t Park View, Columbia Heights, or Pleasant Plains. We call it Mariachi Heights.

  • “I recently took the time to look at a DC neighborhood map”
    Big mistake. Just ask your neighbors where they live. That’s where you live. But if you want my opinion, you live in Fort Totten.

  • I believe that area is known as Fotten Totten…

  • “You’re in the jungle, baby!
    You’re gonna die!!!!”
    – A. Rose

  • OK, I’ve only had one cup of coffee today, but what do you mean by no man’s land? According to that map you either live in Fort Totten or Petworth. Depends on which side of North Capitol you live on.

  • I feel like there are neighborhoods missing from that map. I agree that the OP probably lives in Fort Totten. I live in Brightwood Park, and don’t see that on the map. BP is basically a pizza slice from GA Ave to the west, Missouri Ave to the north, Ingraham St to the south, and North Capitol to the east: https://brightwoodpark.nextdoor.com/map/

  • “Fort Totten” seems like the best descriptor to me, even if you technically fall in the Petworth side of N Cap. Your intersection is much closer to Fort Totten than it is to what most people understand to be Petworth.

  • No one who lives where I live calls it Barney Circle… it’s Hill East or Potomac Ave

  • I love that DC has a neighborhood called Sursum Corda.

  • I live near there as well! A couple blocks south though. If you’re on the western side of Capitol St. then you’re in Manor Park or “north Petworth” according to this map but If you’re on the east side then you’d be in Fort Totten. My house is always marked as Petworth (it changes depending on the map) but sometimes I”m at the border and sometimes I’m not (like in this map I’m clearly Petworth).

  • Emmaleigh504

    Oh dear, I’ve been claiming the wrong neighborhood for years.

  • Recently posted a picture taken on Willard Street NW. Like you, it’s a border area between Dupont and Adams Morgan and I don’t know what to call it. It’s neither one, really — Flickr calls it “Reid” which I guess is accurate but who calls it that?

    You live on cusp!

    • My apartment is a block away from Willard and I say I live in Adams Morgan, Dupont, or U Street depending on who’s asking or my mood that day. I like living in a borderland.

  • Ignore and define by Metro stop–Ft. Totten. If you are not clearly identifiable with a specific metro stop, then pick the trendiest neighborhood that you can possibly fit in with–Petworth.

  • Interesting how the map breaks out Kalorama Triangle, but not Lanier Heights, from Adams Morgan. I technically live in Kalorama, but always say Adams Morgan because everyone is familiar with that. Wonder if anyone else is in the same boat (sorry for the threadjack).

    • I typically say Shaw if someone who doesn’t know my neighborhood asks. I’m technically in Truxton Circle, but at the RI/Fla/NJ Ave. intersection, where Truxton, Ledroit, Shaw and Bloomingdale meet. It’s an example of why ultra-orthodox boundary definitions can be a little silly.

    • I live in Kalorama Triangle too and just tell people “kalorama…near adams morgan”

  • Sort of hilarious that they go into such detail on the edges, then get worn out and just put ‘Capitol Hill’ and ‘Downtown’ for 1/10th of the city.

  • west_egg


  • This map excludes North Michigan Park, so we are already in trouble. And that’s a mystery in itself…Michigan Park vs. North Michigan Park. North Michigan Park just received new signage.

  • There’s a neighborhood called “Civic Betterment”??

    • I know! That surprised me too! not sure what to think of that name! Kind of sounds like it could be a gated community or a penal colony.

  • I disagree with maps that claim that 16th Street Heights goes all the way to Georgia Avenue. 16th Street heights definitely doesn’t go past 13th St. The housing stock totally changes, the accessibility to transit and the land use in general is completely different.

    • binpetworth

      I agree with you. I live in the little triangle at the southeastern edge of how this map defines 16th St Heights and it is in no way the same neighborhood as some of those nice embassy residences a mile north, on actual 16th St.

    • HaileUnlikely

      There are variations in housing stock and access to transit within the virtually-undisputed boundaries of lots of neighborhoods. (I have no special insight on the boundaries of 16th Street Heights)

    • I live in 16th St Heights and consider the neighborhood stretching to Georgia Ave. I love the houses on those streets b/t 13th and Ga., like around Decatur or Hamilton. The ones on Decatur and Crittendon (?) are large American four squares like those in the fancy part of the neighborhood.

  • Where do these boundaries come from? When I look at the original data that is referenced on the wikipedia page, it seems like it just has the centroids.

  • The Washington City Paper style guide says to refer to the Washington Post’s homicide map for neighborhood borders. You can easily find it via google. That map separates out Lanier Heights; it doesn’t even have an Adams Morgan, but instead separates it along 18th St into Washington Heights and Reed-Cooke. It has OP in Petworth (assuming OP is on the NW side of N Capitol St), and Willard St is in something called “Strivers Section”.

  • I work in historic anacostia, and while it is nice during the day and the streets are kept fairly clean compared to the busy areas of NW, it is very dangerous at night. Our office was shot up at 7 pm last night. The barber that is closest to me had an execution style killing of a customer in the barber chair last fall. I like everyone that I have met here, but frankly, I would only live here if I wanted a big yard and I had a car. All of the housing in Noma, eastern market, and Navy Yard lies between here and most of the jobs readers of popville want. It is also lacking in grocery stores and other shopping. Generally, everyone I work with runs errands, grabs lunch, and spends happy hour in navy yard. If you live here you will feel disconnected. Our owners bought this property years ago with the “it will turn around in 10 years” mentality. The area across the river is very saturated with dining, and the new buzzard point stadium will only drive it faster.

    • ” All of the housing in Noma, eastern market, and Navy Yard lies between here and most of the jobs readers of popville want.”
      I don’t think this is true. My fiancé and I bought a house in HA partly because the location is so convenient for getting to work. We’re IT/engineering professionals and we’ve had jobs in Alexandria, Arlington, Suitland, Lanham, Navy Yard, and NoMA. With the possible exception of NoMA they’re all easier to get to from EOTR than from other neighborhoods.
      Additionally, the location is convenient for getting to my MIL’s house in NoVA, and would’ve been useful when I was going to GMU for grad school.
      Unless everything you need to get to is within the city it’s better to live on the periphery, in my opinion.

  • If you open this KMZ file with Google Earth you can search for street addresses and it will show you the neighborhood.


  • I live there too and call it Petworth. Fort Totten is definitely closer, but Fort Totten is in Northeast and I live in Northwest. Seems incorrect to say I live in a different quadrant.

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